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Interview with Mr. John Macharia, founder and director of Digital Driving School

Mr. John Macharia.
  • In brief, tell the readers about Digital Driving School.

I was taking a course in Entrepreneurship and did a unit on Ideation. We were asked to develop a real and tangible idea that we could do. After critical thinking and a lot of adjustments, that’s how Digital Driving School was born. So I registered the name and that’s how we began.

  • Why did you start Digital Driving School?

Being in the market for a while, I was looking for a solution to bring to the market. Poor quality training, bad leadership, poor service being rendered to clients were just a tip of the iceberg. So I decided to give people what they were lacking.

  • When did you first realize you wanted to try this out?

As I was working for other driving schools, I did not, in any way, think that I would start a driving school. So the first push was from the industry. The second push was from the ideation class.

  • Can you say it has been successful?

Looking at the results so far, what started as an idea has become a reality. One positive achievement is the curbing of vices such as corruption. And being a minister of the word, it has helped me remain steadfast even in making decisions and handling the staff. Sometimes some decisions are tough like letting go of some employees but decisions have to be made anyway. A wise man said that as a leader, it’s better to make a decision and fail than to not make a decision at all.

  • According to you, what are the skills necessary to be at the top of any institution?

The wealthiest man in Asia, Jack Ma, says in order to go far, just begin small. Get a mentor, learn the basics and learn the process. So in order to go far, you need to know your C.A.S.E. You should constantly work on your Character as a person, build on your Attitude because attitude determines your altitude, improve on the Skills you have and over time work on your Experience. Everywhere you go, you will deliver.

Mr. Macharia awarding a certificate of achievement to a trainee.
  • What can you say is your brand identity and what sets you apart from the rest?

I am innovative. I have so many ideas I’m developing and as a school we have tried so many things. Some have succeeded, some have failed and we are unique that way. We go beyond expectations. Looking at our training, we have additional products that are not being offered in other driving schools. We add insurance, entrepreneurship just to mention a few. When you come here, what you see is what you get. We also assist you to get your license as soon as possible unlike other schools where you can stay up to five months.

  • Any challenges so far?

Any entrepreneur knows how tough some challenges are and that they shape any business. Firstly the Corona virus gave us a big blow but we can say the industry is slowly picking up. We have had stiff competition e.g. where we are located you may get even ten different schools but we have strived to maintain our quality product. Government policies and regular policy reviews regulated by the NTSA also plays a huge role in some decisions we ought to make. Also, we are fully licensed by NTSA.

  •   Where do you envision Digital Driving School?
    We want to be the biggest driving school in East Africa. Through invention& innovation we aim to provide the same quality service around. Our aim is to have branches all over the region.
Cheperur Lokosyoo is An environmental enthusiast
  • Do you think this is achievable?

It is very much achievable! Within three years we have been able to open 13 branches in three counties; Nairobi, Machakos and Muranga. That simply means that we have grown tremendously in a short span. So the future is bright and within the five years we will not be where we are at now.

  1. Do you have a relationship with your team?
    Yes! I even know my people, each by their name. So I always encourage team work and as I have told you, a good example is that part of the team I started with is still here. I love mentoring my team.
  2. Any advice you would tell your younger self?

Do not waste time on unnecessary things. Time is of importance because time and tide wait for no one. If I knew then what I know now, I would focus on leadership training and mentoring others rather than building on a finance career, though it has helped me build on myself as a whole. So what I would tell young people is to evaluate themselves deeply in order to know their strengths and focus more on that. If it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend five minutes on it.

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